The Challenger Sale

Taking Control of the Customer Conversation

by Matthew Dixon , Brent Adamson

Number of pages: 240

Publisher: Portfolio Penguin

BBB Library: Sales and Marketing

ISBN: 9781591844358

About the Authors

Matthew Dixon : Dixon is a managing director of Corporate Executive Board Company which


Brent Adamson : Adamson is a sought-after speaker and facilitator, with more than 20


Editorial Review

Based on an exhaustive study of thousands of sales reps across multiple industries and geographies, The Challenger Sale argues that classic relationship building is a losing approach, especially when it comes to selling complex, large-scale business-to-business solutions. The authors' study found that every sales rep in the world falls into one of five distinct profiles, and while all of these types of reps can deliver average sales performance, only one-the Challenger- delivers consistently high performance.

Book Reviews

"The Challenger Saleis an excellent step into this world, not only through the identification of Challengers but also with the detail of what Challengers and their companies should be doing to energize customers in ways that leads to more sales. Which is of course what every company needs." Changing Minds

"In their new book,The Challenger Sale: Taking Control of the Customer Conversation, Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamchallenge traditional sales theory at its very core." All Business

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Wisdom to Share

Getting this right is hard. However, moving now means changing the way your reps interact with customers before your competitors do.

The Challenger Selling Model is a commercial transformation. Getting it right requires significant changes to the way sales and marketing interact, to the kind of tools you arm your reps with, the sort of reps you recruit, the kind of training you deliver to them, and the way managers interact with them.

A good way to tailor messages is to start at the broadest level—the customer’s industry—and to work your way down: to the person’s company, the person’s role, and, finally, to that individual person.

While teaching is above all others the defining attribute of being a Challenger, the ability to tailor the teaching message to different types of customers is what makes the teaching pitch resonate and stick with the customer.

You need a small number of powerful insights that naturally lead to an even smaller number of unique solutions, all applicable across the broadest possible set of customers.

Whatever you teach your customers has to actually teach them something. It has to challenge their assumptions and speak directly to their world in ways they haven’t thought of or fully appreciated before.

Lead to your unique strengths. The sweet spot of customer loyalty is outperforming your competitors on those things you’ve taught your customers are important.

Challengers ultimately must teach customers something new and valuable about their business, which is what they want, in a way that reliably leads to commercial wins for us, which of course is what we want.

Customers’ Loyalty isn’t won in product development centers, in advertisements, or on toll-free help lines: loyalty is won out in the field, in the trenches, during the sales call. It’s the result of the conversations our reps are having with customers every single day.